Internet and Pornography Essay

Cheap Custom Writing Service

The history of the pornography industry is inextricably linked to the development of communication technology. From the printing press to the Internet, pornography helped both popularize and mainstream technological innovations by providing men (the vast majority of pornography consumers) expanded opportunities and venues to view sexually explicit material.

One of the best examples of how pornography facilitated the growth of a new technology is the videocassette recorder (VCR). Pornography consumers were willing to pay high prices for a VCR and tapes in the early days of the technology before costs came down. Studies suggest that pornography tapes constituted over half of all sales of prerecorded tapes in the late 1970s, and that by 1983 there were more than 13,000 pornographic videos on the market. The power of pornography is seen in the fact that Sony’s decision to refuse to license its Betamax technology to pornographers allowed VHS to monopolize the market by the early 1980s.

Pornography’s profitability also drove innovation in Internet technology, as the pornographers pioneered streaming audio and visual, flash and chat, the click-through ad banner, the pop-up window, high-speed internet connections, security improvements, and a la carte pay services. While the pornography business can thank the Internet for its massive growth over the last few years, the Internet industry owes an even bigger debt to the pornographers.

The Internet is attractive to pornographers for several reasons. Start-up and distribution costs are low, and the Internet affords consumers easy and constant access in relatively private settings. In addition, the rapid growth of Internet pornography has meant that the laws restricting Internet content and access cannot keep up with the demand.

While statistics are difficult to collect on Internet pornography use, studies suggest the Internet generates $2.5 billion of the $57-billion-a-year global pornography industry. With 4.2 billion Web sites and 372 million pornography pages, there are 72 million visitors to porn Web sites annually, and 25% (68 million) of total search engine requests are for pornographic materials.

Internet pornography includes heterosexual, gay, lesbian, and transsexual material, with the vast majority being heterosexual aimed at a male audience, running the gamut from softcore (nudity with limited sexual activity, not including penetration) to hardcore (graphic images of actual, not simulated, sexual activity, including oral, vaginal, and anal penetration, sometimes by more than one man at a time). Constant accessibility means that pornography can be viewed in multiple locations, such as work, school, and Internet cafes as well as the home. Since the pornography “pops up” even when uninvited, it seamlessly flows into daily life and is increasingly part of the cultural landscape. This accessibility has also led to an increase in addictive behavior among consumers, with studies showing that almost 20% of male Internet pornography users report negative financial, legal, occupational, relationship, and personal repercussions from their activities.

The single largest public concern with Internet pornography has been children’s easy access to the material. Many researchers have argued that children’s viewing of Internet pornography constitutes a form of child abuse and requires immediate legislation. While there are few studies on the effects of Internet pornography, past research suggests that this increase in pornography consumption is implicated in greater levels of male violence against women and children.


  1. Coopersmith, J. (1998). Pornography and progress. Icon, 4, 94–125.
  2. Dines, G. (2004). Unmasking the pornography industry: From fantasy to reality. In R. Morgan (Ed.), Sisterhood is forever: The women’s anthology for the new millennium (pp. 306–314). New York: Simon & Schuster.
  3. Lane, F. S. (2000). Obscene profits: The entrepreneurs of pornography in the cyber age. New York: Routledge.

This example Internet and Pornography Essay is published for educational and informational purposes only. If you need a custom essay or research paper on this topic please use our writing services. offers reliable custom essay writing services that can help you to receive high grades and impress your professors with the quality of each essay or research paper you hand in.

See also:


Always on-time


100% Confidentiality

Special offer!